Friday, September 5, 2008

"See you in 18 years"


I've been attending the Idaho Governor's Cup in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho the past two days, and I'm flying home early because my 3.5 year old son starts soccer for the very first time tomorrow morning. I don't want to miss it. As I checked out of the hotel early this morning, many people expressed surprise, but Governor Otter said, "Good for you! You've got your priorities straight." I couldn't help but think of his comment when some friends with a toddler son waved goodbye in the hotel lobby saying "Here you go. Soccer is taking over. See you in 18 years." I've had several friends express disdain for even exposing their toddlers to soccer due to the parents' concern about their own schedule. I understand that feeling, and the prospect of chilly Autumn mornings watching a group of toddlers chase a ball is not my idea of fun. On the other hand, I want to give my boy every opportunity to develop a wide group of interests and opportunities. When my father was dying of cancer years ago -- long before I thought of having a child -- he gave me some good advice: "I spent so many years working too many hours because I thought that's what you did to provide for your family. But now I realize that by working too much for my family, I almost lost my family. Don't make that mistake." So, all these years later as I sit in an airport waiting to fly home to my family, I can't help but echo the Governor about my priorities. So...see you in 18 years! I'll be a better person for it.

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